Spiders - Lesson I: Spiders! Scary or Nice?
Students study spiders by observing them in a "close to natural" state; they
describe the spiders' physical features and their eating, mating, and reproducing
behavior, if possible from observations.
ACTIVITY: Spider Vivarium
Soil; aquarium tank or very large jar (one gallon); small wet sponge; leaves,
rocks, branch; cheesecloth and tape; flashlight; plastic container or net
(for catching spiders and insects)
- Place soil in the bottom of an aquarium tank and cover it with a few
leaves, rocks and a large branch. Place a small wet sponge in the tank for
- Go on a spider hunt. Be sure to capture your spiders (five or six) with a
net or plastic container so that you do not hurt them.
- Place the spiders in your tank. Cover the tank with cheesecloth. Tape the
cover in place. Place water on the sponge periodically.
- Have children observe the spiders over several days. Do they move around
much? Do they eat leaves? If you are lucky, the spiders will spin a web on a
- Add a live insect to the tank and watch what happens.
- Students begin and maintain a list of substances and animals that spiders
- Do spiders sense light (darken room and then use a flashlight). Do they
- Do spiders sense noise?
- List other ways students have tried to stimulate the spiders to get a